MANILA, Philippines – We put our national heroes on a pedestal here in the Philippines. As early as preschool, we are taught one-liners and monickers that encapsulate what these individuals have done to make them worthy of being called a "hero."
But with the likes of Heneral Luna and, more so, Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral, we are now being made to revisit, even question our notions of heroism. Is it ok to lionize heroes with obvious character flaws? Can a hero regain prestige if he becomes aware that he is the product of propaganda?
How should we depict our national heroes in media?
Rappler’s Tristan Zinampan talks to director Jerrold Tarog about the inspiration, the process, and the controversies that come with deconstructing our historical heroes.